- Now that the Olympics are well past and winter has finally begun to break–it’s somewhat hard to believe that January, worldwide, was among the warmest on record, when winter locally has been among the coldest on record–I suppose I’m out of excuses for my little blogging break.
- I’ve been reading, a bit. My February plans were slightly derailed when it took much longer than expected to get books I’d requested from the library. I think the out-of-area request must have been bicycled in, it took so long!
- That said, my library is the best! I requested, via Inter-library Loan, the English translation of The Wizard of the Emerald City, after the discussion about it in the comments on The Wizard of Oz readalong post. Having looked it up on WorldCat, I wasn’t really optimistic, but my library didn’t just find a copy–they bought one. I don’t know how ILL works; it may be that there’s a cost involved and that it was cheaper for the library to buy a copy. Or maybe the librarian in charge of ILL was intrigued. Either way–I have a book I wanted to read. Incidentally, this will also be the first novel I’ve ever read translated from Russian.
- Speaking of translations, have you seen THIS article on the lack of translations (and readers thereof) published in the U.S.? I always have grand ideas of reading more translated fiction–I have a particular interest in Spanish and Italian fiction after studying those languages–,but usually fall short. (Last year: 0 books in translation.) Reading this article, though, I’m tempted to make my next project (next year, perhaps) one to focus just on translated fiction for a while. Heck, I have so many translated books on my shelves, that at my reading rate, I could probably go for a couple years just from those… I think what really struck me when I read this particular article was the idea that when we don’t read literature from other countries–or even outside our own comfort zone/culture–we make it that much more difficult for ourselves to have meaningful conversation with or related to those who are different from ourselves. This isn’t really a new idea for me, it just struck me particularly here.
- I just realized, I’m sitting here listening to Pink Martini as I type–specifically their album Get Happy–a band I love not just because of the style of their music, but because of all the languages of the various songs on their albums. Spanish, German, Turkish, Japanese, Romanian, French, English, Neapolitan, among others. I love the sounds of other languages, love learning other languages…come to think of it, why didn’t I study languages or linguistics in school instead of architecture? At the very least, it strikes me as odd that I seem to be so stuck in the rut of original-in-English only reading rather than translations.
- Veering away from the international back to much, much more local, my Ohio project is full-steam underway (now that the one hold request has come in). If it weren’t for my blogging break, I’d actually have two or three posts written by now, so hopefully I can get those done in the next couple weeks. While still reading.
- I have to admit, I was a bit surprised at all the attention paid to my little Ohio-authors map. I mostly created it for a fun little image of my project, that was more bookish than a plain ol’ map, but it seems that everyone wants to know what I might be reading… The map’s not actually all-inclusive, nor will I guarantee reading something by everyone listed on it–but it’s a fun place to start!
- Happy reading!